Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Retreat Projects

We never got around to taking a group picture at our retreat - we were just so busy having fun! Here are a few shots...

Leona's spring placemat. 

Krista's gorgeous batik quilt.

Ann's blocks with MANY small pieces.

Ann working on one of those cute blocks with Fanny, her machine.

Polly's beautiful quilt.

Another quilt of Polly's still in need of a couple of borders. 

The beginning of one of Sandy's quilts.

Another of Sandy's pretty quilts.

Saundra making a gazillion black and white nine patches.

Betsy's cute table mats.

Another of Polly's quilts. 

Barb's neat flower wall hanging totally finished!

The center of Leona's quilt - she spent almost ALL of one day cutting the small pieces!

Betsy's great star quilt.

I finished this quilt top.

And I made this rather bright quilt.

We all had a productive and fun three days. Can't wait to do it again!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A relaxing weekend

This past weekend, I was at a retreat with a group of great friends. We were at the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center near Oregon,  Illinois. It's been a while since I've quilted with many of these ladies. Actually all nine of us have never had a retreat together!

This Center is so nice and the staff members are fantastic.

Our retreat was supposed to start late Friday afternoon but we were able to get in much earlier so most of us had the whole day to sew! 

This is the room we sewed in:

We ate our meals in the same area - just 'around the corner'.

My sewing area was in a corner by some windows. I took this photo on Sunday and it was raining.

In the evening, when I went to my room just a short walk, I spent a little time in this corner.

It was a wonderful, relaxing weekend. I'll post some of the projects tomorrow.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A little color!

As I switched out all of the winter and snowman decorations with spring things, I made a list of small quilts that I wanted to make. One was a table runner for the behind-the-couch table. 

About a week later, I made this runner.

The fabrics are batiks, except for the white. I had a package of thirty 10"X10" pieces that I bought in Juneau, Alaska in 2012. I added 5 more pieces in green, blue, and purple to make 35 different pieces.

It is 14" wide and 43 1/2" long.  I machine quilted the runner with straight lines across the shorter width on the colored squares. Then I quilted in the ditch around the outer colored border.

It looks more springlike than the view out my window!

A Baby Quilt for Donation

I started this quilt at Quilt Camp last fall. 

This was a kit and the backing was included so I decided not to change the size. It is 37" X 28", a little small.

The backing is cute vehicles.

I finally got back to this in February. The windmills are quilted in spirals and the border is quilted with echo shells.

The binding was finished in March. 

Whew! One would think it was a big, difficult project! It wasn't!

A tiny vest

I finished this vest for a 14" doll a while back. I just sent it to our almost 10-year-old granddaughter. She turns 10 in 3 days. I really hope it fits one of her loved dolls!

It is really symmetrical - I just didn't get a great picture of the back.

I used the pattern Summer Vest for American Girl Dolls by Janet Longaphie. It's free on I made a couple changes to the 'ribbing'.  The yarn is Ella Rae Classic Superwash from my stash.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Still Jumping Hurdles

Ray’s surgery has been schedule for mid-May at the University of Wisconsin Hospital. We both wish it was this week but the doctors don’t seem to be in as big a hurry! We were told it is a slow growing cancer and we know it has not spread but nevertheless, it would be nice to have it gone.

Ray was asked to be in a study for prostate cancer prevention – it will not benefit him but it may benefit our sons, grandsons, and others. We find out when he begins the study today. Some things do happen fast! We will be back in Madison soon so he can have the study work-up. His part will end the day before surgery.

Ray continues to feel well. We are so grateful that many of our prayers have been answered. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

High Hurdles

I feel like we are in a high hurdle race.

At Ray's physical the last week of January, the doctor felt something hard during the prostate exam. The next week, the urologist also felt it. The PSA score was normal. A biopsy was schedule for a month later, March 5. And the results finally got back to us on March 19. Cancer. NOT what we expected. Everything was done in such a laid back manner that we thought there was just an abnormality. Although we know that Ray's dad passed away from prostate cancer that metastasized in the bone.

Our lives have changed. We have more phone calls, more email, more messages. Our sons are anxious to know what is happening with their Dad. We are too. 

The scans - a bone scan and a CT scan were done Monday. Today we saw the urologist for the results. We both felt blessed and relieved when the doctor said the scans are clear - the cancer is localized. 

One hurdle cleared!

We are in the process of freeing our schedules including a conference in Washington, DC. We will do whatever we need to do. We have a few more hurdles in this race.

We meet with the surgeon on Monday…

Ray feels good - in fact the best he has felt in a number of years! With the help of an Alternative Medicine Doctor, we  have both lost some unnecessary weight since January. We both feel so much better and we lead a very healthy life style. We know all of this can only help in the journey ahead.


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